Residents spend night on the street

2011-09-22 07:13

About 5 000 residents of the Schubart Park flats in Pretoria spent the night on the streets after police “illegally evicted” them, community leader Mashao Chauke said.

“Basically we all slept outside. Only [some] women, children and disabled were accommodated at (a nearby) church. More were supposed to be but there wasn’t enough room so most of the women and children slept outside in the cold.”

Yesterday evening police fired rubber bullets at rowdy residents, who had set the building alight in protest against water and power cuts.

Later in the night, 63 people had been arrested but Chauke said by this morning the number had risen to 79.

He said three people were injured after being shot with rubber bullets but there could more unaccounted for. “Some were coming from work but they were arrested, they weren’t involved.”

Chauke also denied that the building was unsafe, as the police suggested, saying it was habitable although they did not have water and electricity.

In July 2008, four adults and a toddler died in a fire at the neighbouring Kruger Park flats.
The blaze was started in protest against evictions from Schubart Park by a private security company.

In November 2008, the municipality announced it would renovate the block of flats, as they were a health and safety hazard.

On Christmas day that year, 50 people were arrested when protests, also over water and electricity cuts, turned violent at the building.

However Chauke said no alternative accommodation had been provided for them so they had nowhere else to go.

The African People’s Convention responded to the protests in support of the residents but said at the same time it condemned the violence that accompanied it.

“The so called illegal occupation of flats in that area does not necessarily mean the municipality should not provide residents with water and sanitation,” it said in a statement.

Police were not immediately available for comment.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.